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MEC lays out policy priorities to move Michigan forward in new legislative term

Environmental agenda reflects input from dozens of groups statewide
Dec 22, 2014
December 22, 2014

Michigan Environmental Council today released a proactive policy agenda outlining actions state leaders should take in the upcoming legislative cycle for a stronger economy, cleaner environment and higher quality of life in the Great Lake State.

The list of policy priorities encompasses a broad range of issues, from protecting our water resources and iconic wild places to accelerating our state’s transition to a clean-energy economy, building a modern transportation system and ending lead poisoning in Michigan.

“With the lame-duck session wrapped up, we want to turn our focus forward and be clear with policymakers about what MEC and our partners hope to accomplish, so we can look for opportunities to work together,” said Chris Kolb, MEC president. “Some of the goals will be easier to achieve than others, but we’re ready to sit down with anyone who wants to get this work done.”

The proposed policies are diverse but share the common aim of making Michigan a more attractive state for talented workers who want to put down roots, Kolb said. For example, he noted that protecting and promoting Michigan’s distinctive outdoor assets will help the state nurture its recreation industry while attracting and retaining innovators and entrepreneurs.

“This is about realizing our state’s promise as a great place to live,” Kolb said. “We’re at the center of the world’s greatest freshwater resource, we have unmatched manufacturing know-how and we offer outdoor experiences you can’t find anywhere else. These policies will leverage Michigan’s unique assets to create new opportunities and a higher quality of life for Michiganders. They’ll also help keep more of our college graduates here and signal to educated workers elsewhere that Michigan values healthy, thriving communities and a clean environment.”

MEC arrived at the policy agenda in collaboration with its member groups throughout the state. A longer list of priorities emerged after five regional member meetings. At an annual meeting in October, MEC member groups identified the final priority list as the most important issues to address in the near term.

The full list of priorities is available here. It includes specific desired outcomes within seven issue categories:
  • Protect Michigan’s high-quality water resources and restore impaired waters.
  • Accelerate Michigan’s transformation to a clean-energy future.
  • Preserve, celebrate and protect Michigan’s wild and scenic lands and parks.
  • Build the modern transportation system Michigan needs to compete in the new economy.
  • Ensure that homes and communities provide safe environments for all Michiganders to live healthy, active lifestyles.
  • Make Michigan a recycling leader with a statewide recycling rate of 50 percent by 2020.
  • Create a vibrant, resilient Detroit where residents enjoy safe, clean and healthy neighborhoods.

Andy McGlashen: 517-420-1908
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